Does the resurrection really matter?
Trust me, this isn’t a lecture about why you should attend church on Easter Sunday or why you should attend church the other 51 days during the year.
The question is why the resurrection matters in life. Does it make any difference in your every day, drag-yourself-to-work kind of day that involves paying bills, eating, fighting colds, and visiting the in-laws?
This is the question that will change the destiny of your life, in the temporal sense, as well as the eternal. So let’s get the eternal out of the way right now. That’s easy. Easter is coming, and you’ve got eggs to dye and bunny cookies to make.
The discussion of the resurrection begins with the person who marks the end of B.C. (“before Christ”) and the onset of A.D. Anno Domini (“in the year of our Lord”). History itself revolves around Jesus, the only human to cheat death of his own free will and power. This is the resurrection everyone must confront at some point in his life–the historical data that there lived a perfect prophet (i.e.. God’s son) who died and raised himself to life and returned to heaven.
Mohammed, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul III, Martin Luther, and Martin Luther King Jr. were all spiritual leaders. But they are all dead. They have tombs where their bodies are rotting, and they have remained powerless to stop the process. Jesus’ tomb, however, sits empty. His resurrection power gives resurrection power to everything else in my life–yes, even in my normal non-Easter life.
That resurrection affects all the day-to-day resurrections in our temporal world. Belief in Jesus’ resurrection spearheads all other possible resurrections, and you do believe in those, even if you don’t believe in Him. Let me explain.
The sun comes up every morning, inspiring us to productivity, yet sets every night, under the equally important light of the moon, which ushers rest into our hurried lives. We couldn’t stop the power of our solar system, even if we tried. We count on it.
Seeds die so new life can grow. Each spring, flowers burst forth anew, trees re-bud and bear fruit, year after year. The food cycle continues, the animal kingdom functions, all in tandem, all in natural rejuvenation. Nature renews itself without our help.
In every family, the elderly pass away, and the young bring new babies into the world, all pink and innocent and full of wonder. Incredibly, new life follows on the heels of death.
Tragedy brings tears, yet laughter brings joy; even midst heartache, a laugh or a smile can chase away pain. How does this phenomenon work?
And let’s not forget the resurrection of the human spirit–the daring challenge of starting over when all seems lost: the battered wife who breaks free, the broken marriage that repairs itself, the addict who accepts accountability, the slave who escapes, the abused who disarms the power of the abuser. These are resurrections, and they are the resurrections that defeat God’s enemy, just as His resurrection defeated his enemy 2,000 years ago.
A lifestyle of resurrection chooses change when the status quo would be easier. It believes in the unexplainable without embarrassment because it has lived the transformation. It gives when it feels empty. It loves when it feels hated. It confesses when it sins. It believes when life seems hopeless.
This is the power of the resurrection, every day, from now till eternity. And then it begins again.
John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'”